Northwestern released its Week 2 injury report and it appears that the Wildcats’ cornerback depth will tested like it was last Saturday. Here are the announced injuries from the Week 2 two-deep.
CB Brian Bullock - Out
CB Marcus McShepard - Questionable
McShepard exited the game at two separate occasions with an apparent arm/shoulder injury while Bullock, his replacement, left after a fourth quarter pass breakup in which he suffered a lower body injury. Bullock is definitively OUT on Saturday while McShepard is questionable.
The absence of both cornerbacks gave Moe Almasri the opportunity to start opposite Montre Hartage on Nevada’s final three drives. Should McShepard not be ready to go on Saturday, Almasri will play a huge role in the secondary. True freshman JR Pace could serve as a potential backup to Hartage and Almasri; he’s the most ready and versatile (and healthy) of the freshman defensive backs. Pace is already listed as a second-team safety.
There’s still no word on the status of cornerbacks Roderick Campbell, Alonzo Mayo or Trae Williams, but a surprising return from any of them would be a much welcomed sight.
Another option for Northwestern would be to slide a safety, like Jared McGee or Kyle Queiro, down to corner. Queiro played a lot of SAM linebacker against Nevada with McGee filling in alongside Godwin Igwebuike. Defensive backs coach Jerry Brown talked to us about his secondary’s versatility: “They understand the scheme of what we’re doing, and not just their position. When I’m talking in meetings, I’m talking about the overall scheme and maybe the safety position and the cornerback position. During that process, as a young man grows into the program, he should really know his position and he should start growing as a person and as a football player you start to know what other people are doing in the scheme itself.”
Brown also was not overly concerned about the tremendous run of injuries suffered by his group. “Well I think we’ll be better than what people think, so I’m not overly concerned because I know who’s going to be out there and other people don’t,” Brown said.